(Submitted for the Mystery Fiction Blog Contest at Blogadda. Ajay Nair has written a story called "Reunion", laying out some clues. He also paints a great picture of the mentalities of everyone involved.
And we are supposed to solve the mystery. Possibly happened as below.... in 398 words :-) )
Lila was democratic that way.
In death, as in love.
She had experienced and distributed her love equitably in impulsive, willful , hurtful and careless ways, and commitment to an individual, never kept her from seeking new pastures. Her leap from paramour to paramour was always dramatic; courts, cases, shooting, riding off cliffs…. The gift of a virus from G, and public perception of that virus, today, didn’t always imply death, and she was smart enough to know that.
Who never really got on with Lila, never wore the snake armband. And Lila never forgot the drowning episode.
Sia, who Lila was never able to control.
The person who died was actually not Lila, but Sia.
The drugged tea was meant to throw suspicion on the narrator. The bullet necklace kept the pointer firmly on R. The scarf was a reminder of M’s wild behavior which she suffered. Her interaction and tangling with G was public matter, and couldn’t get any worse.
Sia went in last. Lila, probably convinced her to wear the armband , once , for her sake, and Sia did, not knowing that the red on the snake head-hood was actually blood from Lila’s arm , studded with the virus. Lila probably offered her a sit-down tea, two sisters, having a presumed last tea together.
Sia reeled under the poisoned tea. Lila, giving up all pretence, got up, and forced her to exchange clothes, and places. The spread of artifacts on the floor and bathroom was probably the extent of a surprised tussle. Lila wore Sia’s clothes, and emerged outside, head down, weeping. Everyone of Lila’s suitors, would be sympathetic to a desolate sister. The tears would work.
The tea was having its effect on Sia. She came out after Lila , wanting to explain.
But no. She shivered. It was affecting the brain, and she was confused.
She emerged in Lila’s clothes, wrapped as a patient would be. No grace and charm , like Lila; but a woman trying in hurried gestures to convey something, which never emerged.
T'was all over. . The meeting, the reunion, and this world.
She shuddered and returned to the room, unable to comprehend what was happening.
One illuminating moment , it occurred to her that she was drowning.
Lila had not only succeeded in pointing fingers at her paramours, but she had won in the end.
And you know, regardless of what one looked at, in Lila's house, the predominant image that stayed in the mind was this .